Rosewater is a 2014 American political drama film written, directed and produced by Jon Stewart, based on the memoir Then They Came for Me by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy. It recounts Bahari’s 2009 imprisonment by Iran, connected to an interview he participated in on The Daily Show that same year; Iranian authorities presented the interview as evidence that he was in communication with an American spy. Due to the content of the film, Stewart has been accused by Iran’s state TV of being funded by Zionists and working with the CIA. The film was released in theaters on November 14, 2014.
In 2009, London-based Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari is detained in Iran after he reports on violence against protesters of the country’s presidential election, as well as giving a satirical interview with Jason Jones of The Daily Show. While his pregnant fiancée waits for him, Bahari spends 118 days at Evin Prison being brutally interrogated.
Bahari is usually blindfolded while being interrogated, and his interrogator’s sole distinguishing feature is that he smells of rosewater.
Remember when Jon Stewart took off of The Daily Show that one summer in 2013 and John Oliver had taken over for him in that period, well, this movie is the reason why.
Rosewater was overlooked by most people when it came out mostly because Nightcrawler, from the same studio, got a lot more attention critically and commercially and rightfully so, it was a kick-ass movie.
I never got around to talking about this movie when I picked up the DVD but I feel like it should be getting some more attention because it is a really solid movie.
Gael Garcia Bernal plays Maziar Bahari and he is really spectacular in this movie, he gives a solid performance in this movie. You also have a ton of great performances from Claire Foy who plays his pregnant fiancée, Kim Bodnia, who plays “Rosewater”, the cast works off each other very well here.
The best aspect about this movie is how it takes you by surprise, when you hear Jon Stewart is directing a film like this, your first thought is “okay, this guy mostly known for his hilariously satirical comedy every week on The Daily Show is making a serious movie? Sure, this can’t possibly fail in any way shape or form ‘wink, wink'”, and surprisingly, Stewart really does put his heart and soul into making this work as a serious project and you can tell that he did everything he could possibly do to tell this story he’s passionate about in a feature film.
Rosewater is a great movie that got completely overlooked when it first came out but it can still be seen as a timely movie by today’s merits as it also showcases the impressive directing abilities that Jon Stewart has and hopefully, in the future, he’ll make more movies like this. I highly recommend anybody who wants to see Jon Stewart showcase his abilities as a filmmaker, go check out Rosewater and you will not be disappointed.
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